Assessing body image issues and body satisfaction/dissatisfaction among Hmong American children 9-18 years of age using mixed methodology

Urvashi Mulasi-Pokhriyal, Chery Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated body image issues and the usefulness of self-reported measurements among Hmong American children, 9-18 years using mixed methodology. Twelve focus groups were conducted (n=68) and a silhouette drawing instrument and six questions pertaining to body image were administered (n=335). About 50% of the children were either overweight or obese and 23% were short statured relative to US norms. About 70% of the girls and 53% of the boys selected smaller body ideals than their perceived body sizes. Further, 21% of the girls and 31% of the boys were satisfied with their bodies. Children underestimated their weights and overestimated their heights. During focus groups children reported that parents, peers, and media influenced their body image perceptions. Our results indicate that the majority of Hmong children are dissatisfied with their bodies and tend to endorse American ideals of beauty and attractiveness rather than the heavier, traditional Hmong body ideals supported by their parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-348
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Keywords

  • Asian Americans
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body image
  • Hmong children
  • Mixed methodology
  • Self-reported measurements

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